tv Morning Meeting MSNBC December 18, 2009 9:00am-11:00am EST
obama ditching his schedule to huddle with all world leaders and calling them in a fiery address to stop the talking and get behind a last-minute deal on climate change. take a listen to the president. >> we are ready to get this done today. but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk. >> well, to mike viqueira we go, the fundamental issue here, mike, you've got developed nations with one set of environmental standards and developing nations with a very different set of environmental standards. the developing nations argue, why should we have to go to some western standard for environmentalism when you, america, you, western europe used all sorts of polluting techniques during your industrial revolution, not to mention slavery, and now you want to make new rules for us and don't want to pay for it. sounds like a sticky debate, to say the least.
>> reporter: certainly the way you're framing pit. and the pressure point now between the united states and china, the president just off the plane had a 55-minute meeting with the chinese premiere. they said it was constructive to use diplo speech. half of the u.s. negotiators have gone into the room with the chinese negotiators. all along the last several days, the white house has talked about this issue of transparency with the chinese government. sure, it's fine to agree with all of these mitigation, ways to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions, but we want to know how you're doing it. we want transparency, with all these regimes, if we agree to anything at all, dylan. >> john harwood, do you get the sense, at this point, that anything other than rhetoric will be offered up coming out of this particular summit? >> i think it's possible. we've had a roller coaster of emotion, dylan, a couple of days ago, people being very pessimistic. then hillary clinton put some money on the table yesterday for those developing countries. this morning, the state department was more pessimistic.
but what we've heard is that hillary clinton spent last night working on transparency language, presented it to president obama when he got off the plane today. they are now working over that language with a chinese delegation and trying to come up with some sort of breakthrough. it does appear likely, dylan, there will be an agreement. the only question is, what is the level of specificity. is it something the united states can credibly and say the president can credibly say, this really moves the ball forward. it's a reason for the senate to go ahead and act on that legislation. >> any indication, john, from the developing nations, whether some sort of an economic offering from the u.s. and its allies will be sufficient to sort of win them over and is that ultimately a political victory that -- does that political victory, i should say, lead to real environmental reform? does that actually solve problems? >> reporter: well, it does appear that the $100 billion
annual commitment that president clinton -- president obama pledged to be part of with the developing countries has made some impact on the developing countries. and the stumbling block principally, now, is not money, it's this transparency issue and the larger question of whether china as te merging economic power in the world is willing and ready to make a deal right now. that's the message that the president was trying to convey, it's time to stop talking and start acting. i think that's what efs trying to ascertain in that 55-minute meeting. >> it's all about china? >> china doesn't want to have anything to do with this thing. we have no leverage over china. nice idea, but it's not going to go anywhere. >> without chinese leverage, you don't get chinese concession. without kooichinese concession, don't get greenhouse legislation. and obstacles to health care reform keep piling up, including a debate as to whether this is reform. two powerful unions, two of the
most powerful in our country launching an offensive now against the senate bill while praising the one in the house. majority leader reid isn't any closer to getting the 60 votes he would neat to get his bill forward. democrats facing an outright revolt from liberals inside their own caucus. you can say there is tension, to say the least. a few days ago, it looks like senator lieberman could be the one to sink the bill. i think that has something to do with a little bit of this. >> the senator has spoken for ten minutes. >> i wonder if i could ask unanimous consent for just an additional moment? >> in my capacity as senator from minnesota, i object. >> mike viqueira, you thought that the republicans were having a split between the deep right and the center right this looks like it has very interesting possibilities. >> reporter: i've never seen that, what happened there yesterday. i don't know exactly what the explanation is from franken's office.
they said they were trying just to keep the time, but i've never seen anybody object from the chair like that. listen, liberals are faced with a choice. either hold your nose or go down in flames. hold your nose and vote for this thing without a public option and without all the things that were so dear to them or the party goes down in flames. that's the essential argument that's coming from the leadership. we used to call them rare sunday sessions, we can't say that anymore. this will be the third consecutive weekend they'll be in. and developing news out of south florida -- before i get to the rain, i've got to come to you, k.t., for all the issues that the republican party has had to navigate over the past year and a half, the democrats find themselves in a very similar boat. >> the partisan part of me thinks, ha-ha, but the american part of me says, this is a real shame. joe lieberman is the only adult in that chamber. he's the only guy who says, who's going to pay for this? >> we'll come back for the health care conversation, as to how you can look at the debate and look at the honesty of the
problem with the monopolies. >> you've got the senator from big pharma, the senator from labor unions. you don't have any real representatives -- >> senators of america. >> you can forget that. developing news out of south florida, buckets of rain coming down and it is not over yet. this is unbelievable. flooding so bad, actually, it came up to the windows of some people's houses. three feet of water on the roads. drivers ditching their cars at the risk of being swept away. all in all, k.t., a foot of rain in a single day hitting the ground. nbc meteorologist bill karins on the beat with not only the weather channel forecast, but the big weather story. that's a lot of water, bill. >> a lot of water that will soon be snow, dylan. that's the same storm that's going to head up the mid-atlantic. first i've got to tell you about our tornado warning. it continues south of cape coral around naples, florida. a possible tornado that was over the water moving onshore with
very strong thunderstorms. the rain will continue down there in miami and all of south florida. here's a look at the big storm. it's now starting to head up in the mountains of south carolina. snow is falling in the ski resorts and soon it will head into that very cold air from virginia, west virginia, maryland, southern new jersey, and there's a blizzard watch for long island, currently. this is the big i-95 snowstorm. and as far as snow amounts go, it's the mid-atlantic that's hit the hardest. we haven't seen totals like this in these big cities in about a decade, with dylan. washington, d.c., a foot of snow predicted. baltimore, a foot. richmond, virginia, 8 to 12 inches. new york city, we're on the north edge, but for us, looks like about half a foot. >> planes, trains, and automobiles in the context of what you just told us? >> fine during the day today. d.c., tonight, will start their snow. and saturday is the travel trouble day. you don't want to be in the mid-atlantic in a car or an airplane. sunday, things get better. >> understood, bill. the couple that crashed the
white house dinner may be on the verge of extending their 15 minutes of fame into the fall tv season, which i believe is why they crashed the dinner in the first place, isn't it? wasn't that the point? anyway, nbc happy to play, apparently, with sent out a survey this week to see if viewers would tune into a reality series starring the salahis. and we talk about the ethics of some of the other organizations, maybe we should look in the mirror. keep in mind while hollywood may come knocking, those two are still under federal investigation. the poll questions are what really, really strikes me. i don't know if i have them -- here we go. jonath jonathan capehart, you there? it says, among other things, the survey asked if such a salahi-based show would negativingly impact people's opinion of nbc? how would you answer that? i would say yes. >> i would say, yes, it would negatively influence my opinion. >> they also asked whether they thought michelle salahi was great eye candy? >> personally, dylan, i don't
find her to be eye candy at all, nor her husband. >> k.t.? >> i think i'm going to watch and see what she wears next. >> you want your two cents, k.t.? i'm at a loss for words. >> there are an awful lot of really serious things going on in the world and somehow the thought that we're worried about this is crazy. >> bill loves it. does it influence your opinion of nbc, bill? >> did it hurt fox at all? look at all the reality shows they threw on network junk. >> people will watch it. >> that's why it will end up happening. >> once or twice, anyway. >> we're going to dress -- i'm not going to get into it -- i was going to suggest an outfit for her husband. much more on the "morning meeting." the grinch that steals christmas in the senate. but even if harry reid pulls off a deal, will liberals in the house reject the thing outright and do they have good cause to do so? depends on your view of some of reform here.
again, we'll get into it with some of the democrats, including florida congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz who joins us here right after this. meanwhile, is it time for a populist president. gary johnson live here after the morning meeting in the moments to come. grill: holy moly!!! what just hap...whoa!
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this is an outrage. this bill is an outrage. >> everyone can find something they would like to tweak in this bill. it is so much better than what we have today. it holds out such a better future for americans that we have to set aside the things that we don't like and recognize that this has enormous good in it. >> we are all on the same team.
we're having a very public fight, because we were promised something that we didn't get. which was a real attempt at health care reform with american choices. >> well, if that's what the same team looks like in the political environment of america 2009, who needs political opposition? the white house's david axelrod and the former governor, howard dean, both appearing last night, capping off a very contentious day. dean blasted it for doing more harm than good, saying it's a bigger bailout for the insurance companies than the aig bailout was, referring to the mandating of new insurance customers through the taxes and fines without reforming the insurance monopoly. you're basically going to be forced -- it's like everybody being forced to buy their hamburgers, but only being able to buy them from one place that has control of the government. it's crazy. the house called dean's objections in sane. they would probably call mine insane as well. but the afl-cio condemning this
legislation. things got heated on the hill as evidenced in this exchange by freshman senator al franken and joe lieberman. >> we'll provide an opportunity for broad savings and health care and health insurance for pretty much everybody in our country -- >> senator. the senator -- i'm sorry, the senator has spoken for ten minutes. >> i wonder if i could ask unanimous consent for just an additional moment? >> in my capacity as senator from minnesota, i object. >> really? oh, okay. don't take it personally. >> well, senator franklin channeling progressive outrage at senator lieberman, some believe. the democratic leadership denying that interpretation, calli ining it a time managemen issue. >> that's like the girl saying, i've got to wash my hair on saturday night, i can't go out. >> maybe the hair was dirty. harry reid's office says the majority leader asks -- at least that's what i used to tell myself -- that senators keep
their members to their allotted time. reid will need more than a two-minute drill to make the self-imposed christmas deadline, that at the end of next week. maybe more something like a christmas miracle. democrats have only until saturday to get a compromise together and the caucus is still well short of that elusive 60-vote scenario. senator ben nelson rejecting a compromise, citing abortion funding issues, as he sees it. republican olympia snowe looking like a hail mary at this point, anger and dissent on the left, on the right, in the center. republican objections are a given, but democrats perhaps now a bigger enemy to health reform than the republicans. unioning us from davie, florida, congressman debbie wasserman schultz, and congresswoman, welcome back to the program. are the democrats at this point terrified to not get something. in other words, is there a pressure before you go home for recess to know that you're going to be able to go home and talk about passing some form of health care? >> i think we are going to be
able not only talk about what we've done in the area of health care reform during the recess, but we'll be doing that into january and send a bill to the president's desk before the state of union, dylan. i have to tell you, if you had told me in january on the day that i was sworn in to the 111th congress that i would have an opportunity to send a bill to the president's desk that would insure the insurance companies can't drop my constituents for a pre-existing condition or get rid of them and deny them coverage based on their previous health care, if you had told me that they were going to have lifetime and annual caps, if you were going to tell me that i could cover young adults until they're 26 years old, get rid of gender discrimination and make sure that insurance companies couldn't set their premiums based on gender and stop discriminating against women and the list goes on, close the prescription drug doughnut hole, i can tell you, and i have more reforms i can list, but i know i don't have time. i can tell you that i would have said, i'm going to jump at that chance, and we will jump at that
chance. >> a couple of the issues that come up, i would love to get your response to. and i want to show you this and you can explain it to me. as you know, in addition to everything you just described, this does very little to bring real competition and choice into the insurance marketplace. it does very little to reform the insurance monopolies. it does very little to create more choices for everybody in america for their health care. but at the same time, it mandates that everybody in america face penalties if they don't buy health care. so the result of that has been the following. you know the monopoly scenario. i want you to take a look at the insurance stocks in this country on news that a bill may be passed that mandates the creation of millions of new customers, but does not reform the monopoly structure. take a look at the insurance stocks. since november 17th. wellpoint, up 13%. that's over a course of a few weeks. united health, up 10%. aetna, up 12%. humana, up 6%. those health insurance companies are up because being an un
unreformed ogoply monopoly, it basically allows the taxpayer to take the hit to pay for the uninsured, but does not deal with the underlying symptom as to why there are so many uninsured, which is, we have an unreformed private insurance monopoly in this country that is now being guaranteed more customers by the government. why is that a good thing for america? >> dylan, you know, when this bill passes and becomes law, life in america for insurance companies is going to be very different than it is today. >> apparently so. apparently, it's worth another 10% in their -- >> come on, dylan. >> what do you mean, come on? are you telling me wall street's so stupid they bid up the insurance stocks 10% to 15% because they're morons? >> i would love an opportunity to answer your question.
>> go nuts sf. >> because we're going to shift it to an consumer-focused system. >> how is it a consumer-focused system -- >> dylan, you're not letting me answer. >> -- how is that -- if i can pass a law to force everybody to watch my tv show and not let them have the government make it so you can't change the channel, how is that -- >> dylan, there's not much point in having me on if you're not going to let me respond. i would be glad to tell me -- >> i'm all ears if you would actually answer my question. >> i'd be glad to. >> why are the insurance stock analysts -- >> i'm not a stock analyst -- >> let me give you a brief education. >> dylan, let me answer your question. >> i have a specific question. why are those stocks up? i'll tell you why those stocks
are up, because stocks go up -- make more money in the future. >> you could be your own guest. okay, dylan, this is the most significant reform of the health care system in history. we are with shifting the insurance companies -- the focus on insurance companies -- >> you're not answering my question. you're not answering my question -- >> you're right, because i'm not a stock -- >> i don't have the time for you to come and do talking points. >> you should bring a stock analyst on your show. >> you should go on a show where you do democrat and republican talking points. thank you so much. that's it. >> if you want to have someone analyze stocks, bring someone from wall street in. >> i hate to tell you that the stock market reflects reality, and when the health insurance companies explode higher by 10% on a piece of legislative news, it's because you and the politicians in this country have created legislation that is guaranteeing they make more money. and the problem with this country is because politicians do not understand that they make laws that create total imbalances. this is a waste of time.
wendell potter on the phone -- debbie, thank you so much. senior fellow for the health care reform with the center for media and democracy. a health care whistle-blower that worked for cigna and says the insurance companies are in this for profit. of course they are, that's the american way, unless you don't believe in generating profits on predatory monopolies and gamesmanships. wendell, why are those stocks up so much on the back of this news generating less competition and mandating more customers? >> because as you well and you pointed out, stock investors have been watching this from the very beginning, and they know that this legislation will provide a windfall for the insurance industry. since the president had his summit on health care on march the 5th, those numbers you mentioned were pretty dramatic. but most of those companies, the stock was trading at 52-week lows. since then, since then, the stock for cigna has tripled. most every company has at least
doubled. and this is because the insurance investors have known that the legislation is just working its way through congress is not going to do anything to penalize or really reform the health insurance industry. it's going to lock them more firmly into the system. >> k.t., you get the last word. >> this is why there's so much frustration in america right now. the average guy on the street sees those stock prices going up, he knows it's a rigged game. he knows what's going on. the lobbyists own the congressmen and the senators and they've got an inside game and he's not part of that game. i have one question for every member of congress. are you going to take the public option? are you going to have the same health care you're going to make the rest of us have? oh, no, you've exempted yourself from it. what does it tell you? inside game and you're not at that table. >> it's a good thing, honestly, we have the ability to have information come into public so we get a better understanding. >> because, guess what, the american voter, he has a lot of common sense. and when he's told, trust me, he doesn't trust you, and when he's
told, it's too complicated, you don't understand, he smells something really rotten. >> and it's kind of stinky in here. >> you bet. >> we'll be right back on msnbc. mom ys if you're not ready in 5 minutes, we'rleaving. (announcer) it's the mt wonderful time of the year and walmart is here to help. ready? (announcer) with faded glory jeans soft, organic tops lined hoodies and reversible bubble coats all redesigned. get department store styles for less. christmas costs less at walmart. save money. live better. walmart.
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just 2 aleve have the strength to relieve arthritis pain all day. is america preparing for its first true populist presidential candidate? and is a man from the southwest the man for the job? gary johnson, a former state governor and a potential candidate for president joins us in the moments to come. to the table this holiday. from timeless favorites like campbell's green bean casserole to new classics like swanson herb roasted turkey with pan gravy and pepperidge farm holiday brie en croute even clever ideas that give leftovers a full makeover. for inspiration, family pleasing recipes and 15 dollars in valuable coupons, explore the all-new campbellskitchen.com for a very happy holiday.
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all right. americans, as we all know, growing more and more fed up not only with the government's treatment of wall street and perpetuating their gambling ways, all the false reform we've been offered so far this year. meanwhile, these days, a former republican governor of new mexico may be getting ready to ride the wave of discontent from the elevations in the war to the absurdity of health care to the outrage of giving away american money to the least-deserving, those who created a giant insurance fraud scheme and torpedoed our economy, only to be paid out by the american taxpayer in 2008. in this month, the libertarian leaning gary johnson launched our america, a group that promotes limited government. johnson supports balanced budgets, deficit reduction, and a strong dollar. he was against the war in iraq and wants us to get out of afghanistan, for that matter. he's an admitted former pot smoker and supports the legalization of marijuana. he also has some issue with the federal reserve, to say the
least, calling for more transparency, specifically for the collateral that they continue to take to give cash to the bank so they can speculate with your tax money. take a listen. >> in our lifetime, since the federal reserve has been created, in 1913, the value of a dollar has gone to a nickel. and it looks like in our lifetimes, we're going to get to see that nickel go to a penny. yikes. >> the former two-term governor of new mexico joining the "morning meeting" from santa fe. he's the honorary chairman of the our america initiative. also with us, k.t. mcfarland and jonathan capehart. mr. johnson, welcome. i think we all have a very good handle on a lot of the problems. people aren't happy with the war, people know about the scams that the banks are running. people are frustrated with the nature of health care conversation. you obviously have observed these problems as well. we would love to hear how you would go about solving some of them. what do you look at as the
direction for the solution? >> well, dylan, i think you really said it all on behalf of me this morning. thank you very much. i have formed a 501-cr, an our ameri ameriouramericainitiative.com. that allows me to speak out on the issues of the day. i can't comment, given the 501-c4 on any interests in running for federal office. that said, what do we need to do? well, my experience as governor tells -- i had this experience. i had a mr. smith goes to washington experience as governor of new mexico, so much of government, so much of what government tries to do, certainly is well intentioned, but i would argue, really doesn't do anything. i am a real believer in free markets, less regulation, of course, i have listened to you for a listening time on cnbc.
i think the case can be made that too much regulation led to the last meltdown. >> well, we can -- let's stop -- let's go through a couple of issues, though. let's just talk through what people are talking about in this country right now. starting with jobs, which i would say is the most important issue in this country. you have jobs, get economic stability, get housing stability, get housing stability, you get a less anxious and fearful population. and you get, ultimately, better decision making. how do you create jobs at a time when the banking system is designed to extract money, not inject money, and the allegation of labor in this country is outdated, to say the least. >> you know, i've always said that government has a responsibility to provide a level playing field. so this whole notion of republicans saying no, i would always say, i'll take credit for saying no, but it's spelled k-n-o-w. so what government can provide is the best playing field
available, which would be low taxes, just a common sense approach to regulation, kind of get out of the way of business. the more you tax something, the less of it you have. >> do you make a distinction between innovation and business? basically, anybody who does anything for anybody, and banks who are the custodians of other people's money and have deregulated, have taken the language from the innovative half of the economy and applied it to an especially privileged business, which is the custodian of other people's money, and reversed that business to basically take money as opposed to put money in. do you see that distinction, or am i crazy? >> i'm sorry, that went over my head, dylan. >> i think that's where the problem, though, in other words, people take the language of deregulation and apply it to every business. but if you deregulate a bank, where it's a different job, i'm the custodian of your money. and if you deregulate it so i no longer have to keep track of your money or lend your money, but now i can just use your
money to gamble, that's deregulation, but that's not necessarily good for america. i take issue with the sort of default to deregulation across the board, when in some cases -- it's like deregulating the police to let them use their guns to do whatever they want. not good for the country. >> not good for the country. >> k.t., go ahead. >> i just watchnt to jump in, governor. i used to work for ronald reagan and a lot of the things in your platform are things that reagan talked about, less government regulation, fiscal responsibility, strong dollar. in that way, it's very promising. but i can tell you as a former u.s. senate candidate is that all people are going to focus on in your platform is your legalization of marijuana. why is that even part of your platform? why don't you just get rid about it and talk about the fiscal issues. >> i'm not running for any federal -- >> i know, but in your sort of public issues that you want to debate, why are you even debating that issue? just go for the fiscal issue, that's what we care about? >> i really think that the war on drugs -- i really think that
the war on drugs is an absolute miserable failure. we're arresting 1. -- and first of all, i advocate the legalization of marijuana. and that's -- it's never going to be legal to smoke pot and do harm to anyone else. it's never going to be legal for kids to do marijuana. but that said, we're arresting 1.8 million people a year in this country on drug-related crime, half of what we spend on law enforcement, half of what we spend on the prisons, half of what we spend on the courts is drug related. and i've got to tell you, for all those arrests, what we've done is we've made 30 million americans felonies that would otherwise be tax-paying, law-abiding citizens. this has crazy. let's tax it, let's regulate it, with regard to all the other drugs outside of marijuana, let's adopt harm reduction strategies, which is reducing death, disease, harm, corruption, the things that we really care about. again, i think this is a huge -- >> that's a good answer.
>> i think this is a huge issue in this country today and i think that needs to be addressed and it hasn't been addressed. >> it's a very good answer, but as the mother of five children, anything that smacks of legalizing marijuana makes me nervous. >> but the kids -- >> you got -- >> you've got five kids -- >> there's a lot of people that agree with what you just said, you've made a great case, and also feel what k.t. just felt. how do you reconcile that fear? >> absolutely. absolutely. k.t., you know that statistically, 2 1/2 of your kids plus are going to do drugs. you love your kids -- >> i don't want to hear that right before christmas vacation. >> you don't want them to get caught, you don't want to see them in a position where their going to become impaired and do harm to somebody else. but that ought to be the real focus here. we've lost that focus, and because of that, we've got the highest incarceration rate on a per capita basis of any country in the world. it's nuts. >> gary, do you believe that the
issue is that the alcohol lobby is so aggressive in d.c. in fighting other marijuana legalization? i mean, how would you deal with that? >> i don't think so at all, dylan. i think this lies with politics, politicians, elected politicians, that embedded in our elected politicians is this notion of getting tough on drugs and that's where it lies. i don't see it in the alcohol lobby. >> all right. listen, gary, not enough time, obviously, but hopefully, the beginning of a conversation, not the end. thank you for making some time for us. >> ouramericainitiative.com. not running for any federal office, but thanks for having me on. >> thanks very much. ahead on the "morning meeting," is technology affecting humanity? people rigging their beds to tweet during sex? cover your ears, k.t. scientists wondering if technology will turn men into gods.
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all right. we text, we tweet, and following up on yesterday's "trend or talker?" we hardly ever have a conversation anymore, don't we, toure? >> no. >> am i being excluded? >> you and i still talk, he and i just text. the big question, is technology displacing our humanity, "trend or talker?" and what can we do about it? we have alex witt and toure.
first, the internet gives us yet another reason to forgo human contact. a new device called sense will allow internet yurss to touch, taste, and smell what they are seeing online, god help us. the device ejects a flavor slip while you slip your hand into the glove. >> this is so cool! >> it roadway creates temperature and roughness and pressure to let you, toure, although this one is alex's, touch whatever is on the screen through a sensory interface of the never endings of your fingertips, yeah? >> yeah. >> a smell and flavor ink micropresentmicr microprinter -- >> how much is that? >> a smell and ink microprinter -- i just said that -- prints out wax strips which melt on your tongue -- don't give any ideas about the whole sort of,, you know -- and recreate taste and smell. this is not going to be a
12-hour ride to alice in wonderland either. will we ever leave our homes again? what is this? this is virtual reality. >> can i just show one thing. we have our three blackberries right here. >> my iphone's at home. >> it is? >> yeah. >> so we are totally texted out, but i think if you're a shut-in, if for some reason you're house band, this is great, but only in that instance. come on. >> i love this multiry sensory computing. >> this is mine. be quiet. this is my opinion. i think this is too much. you can have your turn. >> text us later. put your thoughts on twitter. >> i will. dylan and alex were rude to me, don't you guys agree? >> oh, man. >> next, we believe text lingo for this is tmi. k.t. mcfarland would surely agree. a best man -- this is true -- rigged his recently married
friend's bed to tweet every time the newlywed couple had sex. the tweets read -- they're on the job he he, they're off the job. you can't get that on twitter. anyway, i'm sorry, the british prankster explains that he promised his mate no pre-wedding surprises, but this post-nuptial joke was not included in the deal. it has almost 18,000 followers and counting. toure, would you do this to a friend k friend? >> no, this is ridiculous. there are things beyond the tweet and text, i'm not going to talk about being with my girl to the world like that. but sharing your life through text and tweets, this is modern -- this is where we're going. >> so the argument -- well, there's two arguments. one, the technology -- >> i've got to get back -- >> there's the technology that separates and then there's the
technology that unites. >> that's right. >> the question is, do you use the technology to separate or do you use the technology to unite? >> i want to use the technology to get to the point. what is it that i want to talk to you about? >> humanize the humanity, the more you don't even care about the future of anybody else's life, that you're not related to. and so if you destroy the sense of community and responsibility of community, i would argue that is very bad for the country. but we're having fun. anyway. finally, will technology make gods of men? i agree with you as well. scientist and author robert landsra writes on the "huffington post" that our notion of god will change with technology. karl segen said ancient civilizations would look at our society today being god-like, being able to fly would have made men of those years, and women, gods for sure. are we ultimately going to discover truth and be able to -- or be forced to replace some of
this future unknown -- >> science can't knock faith off the table. >> but maybe science can validate faith? >> perhaps. although i don't think a scientist could ever find the location of god to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. >> totally agree, but scientists could prove the multiple existence of realities and multiple places -- i mean, there's a lot of doing things with electrons. >> but trying to keep this show on track, this is a trend, because technology is not going in reverse. there you go. >> science is changing society, so it's definitely a trend, but god's not going anywhere. god's here to stay. >> hallelujah. >> mika's having a cow, you guys. she's having a cow. >> up next, a reality check, president obama ran for president on the promise of change. are americans losing hope on his ability to deliver? (announcer) your doctor knows tylenol arthritis doesn't interfere with certain high blood pressure medicines
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welcome back. this is kind of a crazy show this morning. we'll wrap it up here friday, december 18th, 2009. the end of the last full workweek of the year and so, for today, let's do a little reality check on our progress in 2009. let us remember first how it began. >> on this date we gather because we have chosen hope over fear. unity of purpose over conflict and discourse. >> well, america, of course, pinning its hopes and dreams on one man, that man. he was supposed to bring change. but where do we stand now with our nation's greatest challenges? the reality as we all know not so uplifting. almost 2 million homes facing foreclosure, the real jobless rate in the country up to a staggering 17.2%. more of our children and our treasure heading into harm's way instead of home for the
holidays. signature health reform, obvious problems, teetering on the edge, and banks continuing to use their access to the taxpayer run bank that is the federal reserve to steal from us and deprive our children of their future. the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll quantified all of this frustration. 54% were confident in president obama's goals and policies when he started, only 39% feel the same now. the harsh reality may be that not even one of the most beloved candidates in the world can save america alone. but here's another real itty check, one for all of us. what happened to the electric crowds of engaged voters that were across this country over the past year? this crowd.
red or blue, where has the passion for demanding the updating and improvement of our government's relationship with its people gone? change, after all, isn't just about switching presidents or switching parties. it's about changing our relationship with our country and our government. our responsibilities to our nation to be vigilant voters, informed voters, learning every day. vigilant consumers understanding how our money is spent and the impact it has on our reality. encouraging skepticism for all against a government that appears far too willing to bend to whoever is writing the check, even if the money they take is stolen from the very people who vote them into office. so some of our systems like employer based health care date back to 1942 to try to get women into the workforce, employers created health care. we're at war. it was 1942. that system has grown outdated
and yet we still protect the employer-based system and then jam taxpayers with bills to pay for the uninsured as opposed to reforming the entire system so that you don't punish the taxpayer to protect the profit margins of a predatory monopoly that is health insurance. others, like the separation of our banks, lasted since abe lincoln's time but were taken away only a few years ago. they were there for a reason. now you don't need me to point out our challenges. you live it every day. but at the end of president obama's first year in office, our reality check need not be a list of problems but rather a reminder that our work has only begun. and as disappointing as our government's behavior this year has been from the war to health care to the banks, joblessness, foreclosures, this is not uncommon with people and their governments around the world now and throughout history. but unlike so many nations ours is unique in that we have our vote. we have our responsibility as
consumers every day, we have a free press and unlike ever before, we have the marvels of the democratizing of information and the unprecedented waves of prosperity that only the internet and the web can provide to all. an historic election was not the end, it was the beginning. and maybe, just maybe, with votes and dollars and freely flowing information 2010 can be a new beginning for this country. i thank you for helping me and us get this tv show up and running. we look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the months and hopefully years to come. that wraps up "the morning meeting" today. my name is dylan. contessa brewer continues our coverage next. coming up, president obama makes a call to the world on climate change saying the time for talk is over but did his fiery speech influence anyone? we'll have a live report from copenhagen. wild weather in florida -- homes overrun by water, cars stranded in flooded streets. even a fire truck stopped in its
tracks. we'll get the latest on that and the blizzard heading for the northeast. a father's fight for his son delayed as a brazilian court blocks his return to the u.s. we'll hear from the boy himself. we'll go to rio and a mother facing the heat after she tweeted from the hospital as her son was dying. it's ignited a hot debate. did this mom and in addition to twitter contribute to her son's death? good little helpers. hey, what happened to all the icing? it was his idea. (announcer) it's the most wonderful time of the year, and walmart's here to help. with low prices on everything you need to bake something irresistible. you'll save 20 percent versus leading national supermarkets. christmas costs less at walmart. save money. live better. walmart. 'tis the chevy red tag event. ♪ now's the time to get a chevy♪ and nobody has more consumer's digest best buys than chevy.
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we are ready to get this done today. but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk. >> the president may get a deal out of the copenhagen climate summit, but is it worth the paper it's printed on? the nations agree deep cuts to emissions are needed, but no deal to get that done. >> i wonder if i could ask unanimous consent for just an
additional moment? in my capacity as senator from minnesota, i object. >> snas >> snarky exchanges, late night debates, taking its toll on the senators. all eyes are on ben nelson to see whether 59 other senators can make him happy enough to sign on to the overhaul. is anybody happy these days? liberals are furious over the concessions in health care, over the ramp-up in afghanistan, gays frustrated with same-sex marriage in military service, and everybody seems to be pointing the finger to president obama. well, some tweeters are pointing the finger at a grieving mom today. she kept up her twitter update even as her toddler drowned in a backyard pool. good friday morning, everyone. i'm contessa brewer and we have a lot to cover this hour so let's get right to it. the big news we're following, the climate front. 193 nations, two weeks, a deal
priceless or would have been if they could have accomplished everything but the barest minimum. president obama says some agreement is better than none, though. one draft contains these details for a deal. the nations agree deep emissions cuts are required. but they don't commit in writing to making those cuts. they aim to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees fahrenheit but that's a general goal. $30 billion provided to poor countries over the next two years and by 2020 that amount would be $100 billion per year. the world's two biggest polluters are getting most of the blame for failure to reach a comprehensive agreement. china is refusing to put any promises in writing and object s obstina obstinate. >> i don't know how you have an international agreement where we all are not sharing information and ensuring we are meeting 0 our commitments.
that doesn't make sense. it would be a hollow victory. >> and other countries are criticizing the united states for being late to the party. slow to pony up major contributions to help developing countries go green but better late than never. chief washington correspondent john harwood joins us now from copenhagen. here, john, you have president obama seeming to send a strong message that he's willing to take strong action on climate change but does his walk back up his talk? >> reporter: well, look, they passed a climate bill, an energy bill in the house of representatives, they haven't made headway in the senate. it's crucially important 0, john kerry said the other day that they get a deal here and i have to say you laid out in a very full way all of the potential criticisms of this meeting but it's not over yet and president obama after making that public statement about transparency that you just played that sound bite for, went into an hour long
meeting with chinese premier wen jiabao and we may see in the coming hours there may be more to that agreement than the outlines that you quoted from. >> the similarities to what's happening with the health care reform debate back here at home are really startling especially when you consider as the climate change summit they're saying let's get a political deal done and then the rest of the details, the big movement, we can add on to this agreement but we need to come out of this with at least the broad, general strokes. >> reporter: well, that's true but, contessa, this is a very, very difficult problem to deal with. you've got 200 countries trying to reach a consensus on something that is requiring a change in the energy basis of the economy around the world. now the fact that the united states has stepped forward, china has stepped forward, saying they're going to take some action, is an indication the world is taking this seri s
seriously but, you know, politics is the art of the possible and it's very, very tough to get these kinds of agreements. health care is exactly the same way and, by the way, contessa, i interviewed nancy pelosi here as part of this u.s. delegation. she's very frustrated by what's going on in the senate and ascribes in particular -- you played that sound bite from joe lieberman and al franken -- she says look at the influence on the insurance industry there and says at this point in the debate for somebody like joe lieberman, it's not a reason to oppose the bill. it's an excuse to oppose the bill. she's optimistic it will get done in the end. >> john harwood, thanks for sharing part of that and your perspective. here at home negotiations are going about as well as at the climate change summit. democrats, a few republicans, at 1:20 this morning senators voted to limit debate to 30 hours on the defense appropriations bill. both parties are accusing the other of stalling but, of course, republicans using every ploy in their power and the senate majority leader publicly
shamed them. >> we're voting at this rare late hour but not even the darkness outside can conceal the games being played inside this senate chamber. rarely has a senate seen such a sad statement. rarely have i seen such brazen irresponsibility and rarely have our nation's citizens received such little regard from their leaders. >> and, in fact, 92-year-old senator robert byrd wielded at 1:06. you can see him at the top of your screen and there was the standing ovation, applause greeted him when he arrived but he was overheard saying, shame, shame. in the end, all 58 democrats, the two independents, plus republicans olympia snowe, susan collins and kay bailey hutchison voted to get the ball going on defense so they can get to health care before the christmas deadline. out covering the health care debate from the white house,
mike, they're saying this helps them to move forward on the defense bill but are they going to get a vote before christmas? >> reporter: you'll have to ask ben nelson and a lot of people are asking ben nelson that. of course ben nelson the defensem democrat from nebraska wants to see some language similar to what passed in the house. remember, it was another moderate democrat stupak from the upper peninsula that would put in language anybody getting subsidies from getting abortion coverage to the public plans or any available in the so-called exchange that this legislation would set up. stowe ben nelson being courted by all kinds of people, both from here at the white house and democratic leadership on the hill. there's all kinds of back and forth. that video you played between al franken and the chair there and joe lieberman, call me a hopeless d.c. want but i can't get enough of that. that was really remarkable. another rare weekend session, the third consecutive weekend session to try to plow through this, get through all the
procedure and it's dangling on the precipice, contessa, whether they can get this done by christmas eve. >> this is a practical matter. if you're going to stay up all night on the senate floor debating this thing, how much work can you get done during daylight hours? aren't most of these senators sleeping in today? >> reporter: probably. i mean, it's a matter of the clock ticking. after that vote at 1:30 last night, according to senate rules, 30 hours, an intervening 30 hours before they can vote on the bill. the sense that's expected to pass. and then they move back on to the health care bill and start a whole new set of clocks, contessa, thatly l bring them right up to december 24th. >> looks cold out there, mike viqueira. you're getting ready for a big snowstorm. many of you are reaching out and asking for great questions on health care reform. monday i'm going to devote an extended period of time to answer some of those questions. we'll have the correspondents covering the process in-depth and the experts with us and we want to know what your burning
question is. as you can see on "meet the press" you'll hear from white house senior adviser david axelrod. in the meantime if you'd like to send me some questions for monday, you can go so on twitter, facebook or e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org is the e-mail address. moving on now, we know that -- and i mentioned "meet the press." check your local listings. developing now out of california, more than a dozen pacific residents are displaced after the crumbling cliffs beneath their buildings forced emergency evacuations, ordered out early thursday morning as large chunks of the cliff plunged into the ocean leaving the 12-unit building just ten feet from the edge of a 50-foot bluff. a krap will start moving boulders from the bluff that caused it to erode. a waiting game for new jersey father david goldman as he fights to bring his son home from brazil. a judge has ruled his son sean must stay in brazil while it considers a request from the family of the boy's mother or
the stepfather's family to have him testify. jeff rossen is on the phone from rio de janeiro. so here is the deadheading to brazil to pick up this little boy, wasn't he, jeff? >> reporter: that's correct, contessa. the reason he was doing that, brazil's federal appeals court [ inaudible ] -- >> all right. unfortunately, we're having trouble with jeff's cell phone signal but, anyway, this new jersey dad was heading down to brazil, had actually stopped going back and forth because he kept getting disappointed. this time since the court said, yes, you must be reunited with your son immediately, he flew down, only now to have the court say they want to hear from this 5-year-old boy himself. that may not happen until february. certainly a devastating turn of events once again for the new jersey dad but, of course, he's
holding out hope his boy can be brought back safely to the u.s. what a mess in florida. knee deep water flooded hopes and left drivers stranded overnight. forecasters say there's the potential for tornadoes and damaging wind gusts. and in parts of virginia winter storm warnings will take effect as a whopping 18 inches of snow is expected to fall this weekend. nbc meteorologist bill karins here with your weather channel forecast. what are we looking at? >> potential blizzard conditions in coastal areas. tornadoes possibly this morning in florida. and a travel nightmare heading into this busy weekend. a lot of people traveling already for the holidays. a lot of people trying to get their errands done. it's going to be difficult in the east. we'll start with florida where the immediate threat is. we do have a tornado warning but for the most part it's out over the everglades, an unpopulated area. the heavy rain and thunderstorms will at this point through south florida. there at the center of the storm, right now down near mobile, alabama. it's going to be up off of the new york city coastline about 48 hours from now. it's going to be a long 48 hours
to track up eastern sea boards. a picture from north carolina where the snow has begun. this picture will look a lot different in 36 hours. north carolina mountains should pick up one to two feet of snow, good for the ski areas. winter storm warnings up through the mid-atlantic and a blizzard watch in effect for eastern areas of long island. so here's a look at the current radar. the white on the map breaking out from charlotte to raleigh. your temperatures are too warm for a big snow event but areas to the north of there especially in virginia, that's where the bull's eye could be. we're talking almost an historic snowstorm for areas in the mid-atlantic. washington, d.c., only gets a foot of snow about once a decade and this could be the storm for you. baltimore 10-14. richmond 8-12. you notice philadelphia, new york city around 6-10. we're right on the em, the northern fringe of the storm, a really sharp cutoff, albany and new york will probably get zero. >> it's backwards. >> a lot of times it is. a lot of times they get more. this is a coastal i-95 event. >> all right. thank you, bill. coming up, a florida woman
is coming under fire for tweeting too much and some say while they're blaming her for her son's drowning death. plus, monica lewinsky is back calling former president bill clinton a liar and she has a new revelation about that very famous stained blue dress. 1,400 lbs of cargo. but only one can do it while driving on electricity. the gmc sierra hybrid. the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup on the road. may the best truck win.
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well, the unthinkable happened this morning, twitter users were not able to use tweets. abscess was blocked and steered traffic to another website. a grouped called the iranian cyber army was claiming responsibility. folks at twitter said the system was temporarily compromised but is now fixed. a florida blogger coming
under intense criticism after the drowning death of her 2-year-old son because she was tweeting about it online. shelly ross writes the popular blog blogformom.com. an emergency call went into police. she found her 2-year-old son at the bottom of their swimming pool. while at the hospital she posted on twitter. please pray like never before. my 2-year-old fell in the pool. 19 minutes later, the little boy was pronounced dead and the blog, the tweeters went wild questioning whether he'd still be alive if his mother had not spent so much time online. new york psychologist robin goodman joins us now. what's your take on this? >> you know, you have to think she was basically experiencing a traumatic event. there's nothing worse than having your child potentially have their life taken away, so
she has the choice of either fighting or fleeing and she was so helpless that i think she did whatever she thought she could, which was ask people to pray. because that was something she could do to try and help him. >> and, by the way, the reports that we got were that when she went and discovered him in the pool, she actually started cpr and it was her other son, the older son, who called the emergency services. she's now given a statement, media outlets, please leave us alo alone. there will be no interviews granted, period, end of story. leave me alone. find your next victim and let my son's memory be one of good and peace and strength. for a lot of -- at one point her twitter was open to public and you didn't have to be accepted by her to see her tweets. she has changed that since then. so the initial reaction from some people was like, how could you be in the waiting room and be tweeting? if only you hadn't been on twitter in the moments before your son fell in the pool, maybe he'd still be alive. it was really harsh words and
she answered them back, what's wrong with you? can you understand someone being on twitter when they're experiencing that kind of -- i don't even know what would be going through a parent's mind at that time. >> well, if you think about it, it's a new way people connect and feel like they're connected and with other people at a time when you're feeling so alone and helpless. so it's a way to try and get support that you feel that you need. and people vary differently about wanting to do that. we now have this way to feel supported by a much bigger group. if a child goes missing, everyone in the town goes out looking. there is that impetus for people to want to help and for you to reach out to want to get help. >> the critical tweeters and bloggers are just mean? >> i think when there's something traumatic and you don't know what to do, you will do anything to try to save your child. >> robin, thanks.
>> sure. >> the world's best swimmer is coming out to support the world's best golfer. 14-time olympic gold medal winner michael phelps made a controversial splash himself earlier this year when a fphoto caught him doing a bong hit. phelps offered some insight about tiger woods and his troubles. phelps is in manchester, england, competing in the duel in the pool competition. >> i'm hoping the best -- wishing the best for him and his family at a time like this. you see who your actual friends are, who supports you, and i think he's going through a hard time right now, i assume. >> woods is taking an indefinite break from golf while he sees if he can salvage his marriage. there are growing reports wife elin is seeking a divorce. all right. talk about hotshots. we'll tell you why this group of shirtless men are hanging out together in taiwan. oh, yeah, my floor director is doing push-ups right now. more. it's going to take more. we'll be right back on msnbc.
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some breaking news out of iraq where a small number of soldiers have seized an iraqi oil field along the disputed southern border. iraqi officials say several incursions have happened over the last few days. in afghanistan president karzai is making good on his promise to clean up his cabinet, at least to some degree. he'll replace two ministers who have been linked to corruption. however, half his current cabinet will stay, that includes the warlord khan who has been accused of war crimes. u.s. intelligence agents reportedly have uncovered evidence that hackers from north korea gained access to war plans designed by the u.s. and south korea. those plans specifically laid out strategies for a preemptive strike on the north as well as other scenarios. the report appeared in a south
korean magazine this morning. a utah father of two is now a person of interest in the disappearance of his wife who was last seen nearly two weeks ago. nbc has been covering this story. what's new today, miguel? >> reporter: as you know police searched the home behind me. they came out with a couple bags of evidence. we know in recent days they have also canvassed the neighborhood, they have talked to neighbors looking for new clues, new leads in the case. they are still continuing to work this case hard, but they say their person of interest, josh powell, susan powell's husband, is the person they'd like to talk to the most. of course he told investigators he took their 2- and 4-year-old boys camping at 2:00 a.m. in subfreezing temperatures. they are suspicious. they have interviewed his 4-year-old son asking him if he and his father went camping on december 7th. his 4-year-old son said he did.
early this morning on the "today" show susan powell's husband asked for josh powell to be more cooperative with police. >> i think he knows something he needs to tell us to help us find our daughter. i have not seen that from him and it's out of character. i want his help to help all of us find susan. >> reporter: investigators are also said to be looking at a note pad kept by susan powell at her place of work n. that pad sources say she possibly left information on threats that may have been made against her, contessa. >> all right, miguel almaguer, thank you for that report. a majority of volcanic eruptions happened underwater. it's never been kept on camera until now. take a look at this video. a team of scientists set out on an expedition in may hoping to study an erupting volcano 4,000 feet below the sea and there it is. within hours they found what they were looking for. red magma bursting from the volcano and rock fragments
thrown up to 300 feet. a street in baltimore is now a river. a 42-inch water main break caused watttory flood the streets. amazingly none of the cars got swept up with the water. a bunch of good looking contestants from 28 countries gathering in taiwan to compete for the title of world's most handsome man. just like a typical beauty pageant, the men have to prance around in evening wear, bathing suits, and look at the workouts they're enduring. yes. the winner will receive $5,000. does that even pay for your trip to compete? but they also get a personal trainer and a bunch of beauty products. that must be worth it, no doubt. what a cliffhanger. some california residents forced to evacuate because their apartment building is about to slide into the pacific ocean. vice preside plus, president obama getting hit from all sides. is anybody happy with the job
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siemens. answers. the cliff is just sliding away in pacifica, california. they will try to keep it perched on top of the cliff, from falling into the ocean. a crane actually set to begin moving boulders to protect the cliff from the waves that eroded it. bob, how is the progress? >> reporter: well, they are still waiting for that crane. the waves here off pacifica, south of san francisco, are so substantially down. engineers are in a rush to shore up the cliff side, to keep this evacuated apartment building from tumbling over into the pacific. that crane should be here within about a half hour so that later this afternoon they could begin placing boulders at the base of the cliffs in hopes of preventing further erosion.
the pacific ocean has swallowed an enormous chunk of land. 20 feet of earth has fallen in the sea leaving 15 feet between the building and the edge of the cliff. the city red tagged and evacuated all 12 units. the 18 people who lived here had to quickly pack up, leave, find another place to live. this included incidentally a mother, father and baby who had just moved in the night before. now the situation could have been possibly prevented had the owners been able to place the boulders at the base of the cliff earlier like surrounding properties had done this past summer. the city of pacifica said that was delayed because of a property line dispute. of course an emergency permit has been issued to allow that now to happen. we're live in pacifica. >> bob, thanks a lot. i appreciate that. des pile recalls and warnings, people are still using the defective simplicity baby cribs and now 11 more babies have died. the most recent was in september. a 7-month-old got caught in a krip when part of it broke.
the safety commission is aware of 25 other incidents involving these drop side parts detaching from the simplicity cribs. if you have those cribs, definitely go on the website and find out about the recall. you can't please everybody all of the time. lately it seems the president is not having much luck making anybody happy. public approval ratings have dropped below 50% for the first time. liberals say the president's abandoned them on health care and on the war in afghanistan. afric african-americans say they've been abandoned by not addressing black unemployment. it's hit 15%. even some jewish leaders are upset because the white house hanukkah celebration was billed as a holiday party and they didn't invite as many as last year. jeff johnson joins me now. is it that people have their expectations so high with the, yes, we can campaign, that's making it a reality has left them feeling shorted?
>> i think people's expectations were connected to their own desires not what the president said he was going to do. now while i understand, i think as an afterry cap american looking at the african-american male unemployment rate, we can't use the same strategy for african-american males to address unemployment he wants to use for the broader kind of trickle down. there's a misnomer there. but president obama always ran as this i am an american president president not i am a this or that. so i think that many of these people while there are valid issues they are concerned with and in a crisis in many sectors of the population, he's doing what he said he was going to do. >> he said he would take action on gay rights. the don't ask/don't tell policy in the military remains intact. same-sex marriage across the nation has been voted down by voters state by state again and again and again. where is the action for, for
instance, gay americans? >> i definitely think the don't ask/don't tell piece is a thing he clearly hasn't touched this year at all. >> is that a failure? >> i don't know it's a failure as much as it is a priority issue. >> he could sign his name and it would be over with. >> you and i understand signing his name still means there's political backlash and the president is in a fight for his life with health care. niece a fight for his life with afghanistan. he's taken on two of the largest issues he could take on in the first year of his presidency. and so i think many of these groups need to continue to be diligent in holding him accountable to what he said he was going to do. understand this is just the first of a four-year term. >> and what about the staunch liberals? i know they like to be called progressives, but are they really not getting anything that they asked for? >> i think they're getting a president that said i'm not going to do business as usual and by not doing business as usual, the president has attempted to court bipartisanship and that
bipartisanship has weakened the progressive agenda but he said he was going to do that and so i'm confused about why progressives not are angry about the fact they're going to get a watered down health bill, not angry at the fact afghanistan didn't go the way that they want to, but i'm confused about why they are surprised that a president who said he's going to try to reach across the aisle and do things differently has now got watered down legislation as a result of trying to please those and normally a president would attempt to please but he was using his majority to ram stuff down their throats. >> i like your common sense. thanks for coming in. >> absolutely. former intern monica lewinsky wants her scandal back in the headlines apparently. is there anything really left to talk about? yes, apparently there is. in the upcoming book "the death of american virtue" lewinsky says she believe clinton lied about their relationship under oath. haven't we been there, done that? >> she says there was no leeway
for veracity because he was asked specific questions. hmm. how thin is sarah palin's skin? she's cutting short her hawaiian vacation. the hoopla is she took a sharpie to it, blacked out john mccain's name. she said she was trying to go incognito so the annoying paparazzi wouldn't bother her kids. tmz got a shot and took it as an insult to mccain. palin says, no, no, no, she aboard mccain. just saw him when she went to d.c. now she says those stupid photographers -- actually i added the stupid, she didn't say stupid photographers -- they ruined her vacation. i would not quit hawaii. you could say whatever you wanted to me. i would not quit hawaii. by the way, "newsweek's" jon meacham says i think when you sell this many books you can buy a visor. that's true. they do sell sun hats in hawaii. a lot of americans could use a vacation right now because they're stressing about money. because of that a majority of
americans say they have to cut back on holiday travel plans or cancel them altogether. according to a brand-new "usa today" gallup polling, they are scrapping plans instead of cutting costs. >> who needs vacation if you live in a sunny state? the happiest live in louisiana, hawaii, of course, and florida. the happiness ratings were based on the survey of more than a million people across the country rounding off the top five tennessee and sunny arizona. and guess where the least happy people live? right here in new york. we're a bunch of grin was. scrooges, all of us. coming up, all the president a president's men -- the good, the bad, and the slubby. we'll explain what that means. to stay on top of my game after 50,
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what's going on? strong storms south of miami. tornado warnings. our doppler radars are showing rotation with the storms. they're capable of producing tornadoes at any time. we have not heard there's a report of a tornado on the ground. these are doppler indicated tornadoes. right here where the speedway is and also homestead park. these little areas here, the little storms pretty much heading from the due south to the north and that will take them up in toward the downtown miami area in the next half hour or so. if we get any confirmation of damage or any spotted tornadoes on the ground, we'll bring that to you immediately. again, tornado warnings for homestead county just south of the miami area for dade county near homestead but again, contessa, no damage being done as of now but people need to take -- head into their interior room or the bathroom, do that now. >> okay 0. we'll take that as a word of warning to the wise. new numbers on unemployment at the state and local level. the labor department says there
was some improvement last month. 36 states and washington, d.c., reported a decrease in the jobless rate. eight states saw a rate increase. michigan, in fact, has the highest unemployment rate. 14.7%. breaking news right now, washington, d.c., mayor will be signing the same sex marriage legislation at any moment signing it into law. the city council approved the measure. it still has to go for a review before congress which has the final say over d.c.'s laws. the nonvoting delegate to congress, eleanor, expects couples to begin marrying in march. opponents plan to fight the legislation. they say clothes makes the man but has the obama administration taken fashion to a whole new level in the nation's capital? the latest issue of "gentleman's quarterly" profiles obama and all the president's men and some apparently have a passion for fashion although we're not
looking at men on the cover, are we? "gq" breaks it down. interesting we're talking about men but showing a half nude woman on the cover. >> are we allowed to show that on msnbc? >> not only allowed but encouraged. >> i imagine. >> let's start with president obama. how would you capture his style? >> i would say he's most of the time the best dressed president since reagan, when he has a suit on, tie undone, he looks very natural, very effortlessly elegant. them you see him playing basketball. he has the sweat pants on. you wear shorts when you play basketball. >> wait a minute. i have to say the picture of him playing basketball, number one, do we have it? it's almost as though he's in midair. >> the guy can play. he has game, contessa. >> lean and mean and this, i find, to be rather athletic. >> yes. that's what you wear before you play. when it's time to play, you put the shorts on. i'm not saying bill clinton jogging shorts, put on some basketball shorts -- >> long ones. >> around the knee. >> maybe he has an issue of
showing his -- >> apparently. his skinny legs. >> what about the dad jeans everybody was talking about when he was throwing out the first pitch? >> i don't think we want to see the president in skinny hipster jeans but maybe just a little -- not so high waisted, not so trousy cut. george bush, that guy, george w. bush, could wear a pair of jeans and his wranglers, that sort of thing. >> again, i thought the jeans were fine. >> we agree to disagree. >> that's what dad jeans look like. what about vice president joe biden? nice suit, nice tie, dapper without being excessively dapper if that makes sense. he's not showing off. >> does the hair ruin it? >> he's got a bit of a hair helmet. the best and worst hair, he might be on the worst side. >> rahm emanuel? >> great looking guy, very fit. you have to lose that silver tipped cowboy belt, get a tie that's not too long.
>> can we lose the banner for a second. i want to show you where his tie hits. isn't there a rule about the angle of your tie? >> the tie should not go beneath your belt buckle. buy a proper dress belt, rahm, and lose the pleats. it's 2009. they went 0 out 10, 15 years ago. >> and what about david axelrod, on "meet the press" on sunday. what do you expect to see from him? >> not a lot. schlubby. >> what that word? >> i take it you're not jewish. he's falling apart. he has the shirt untucked. if you look at him, you know what his desk looks like. it's not pretty. >> bless his heart. >> he works hard. he's a smart guy. we don't need everyone looking stylish and sharp. >> then you would not stap out in a crowd. >> we would not have jobs. >> thank you. >> thank you, contessa. an arizona teacher is in trouble for taking students to a hooters restaurant. what do you think of that? >> i disapprove. >> part of a choir that got to perform at president obama's
inauguration. there they were playing in downtown phoenix last week and the teacher says the only area restaurant that could accommodate all those kids was hooters. 0 okay, you know hooters, the busty waitresses, skimpy clothes, the hot wings. apparently it was the chicks, not the chicken, that was a problem for the school district. they thought other area restaurants could have handled the crowd and put the music teacher on leave. big deal. she was retiring in january anyway. come on. he goes for the food. i bet you like to read the articles, too. the premiere of "avatar," hoping it will be another hit at the box office. (announcer) maybe we could all use... a little more softness. with ultra downy, you're surrounded with softness. the kind you just can't get from detergent alone.
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street gangs are more dangerous than the detainees at guantanamo bay, at least that's what the federal judge in washington told a group of lawyers yesterday. judge lambert says gangs in the united states kill more people than most of the detainees who could face trial here. the judge insists our court system is very capable of
handling any case it might get. u.s. drones have fired missiles inside pakistan for a third time. nbc's jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon. so what are you learning about these attacks? is this going to be a frequent thing? >> well, contessa, in this case three days in a row and one of them the largest drone attacks against any terrorist or militant target inside pakistan. this appears to be, by all accounts, a full-fledged frontal assault against the so-called hakani taliban network headed by husain haqqani who drove the soviet ss out of asked. they asked the pakistani government to have their military take an offensive against the haqqani network. they did not, publicly at least. so the u.s. is resorting to the drone attacks.
i tell you the pakistani government would have to be complicit in this level and number of attacks against the haqqani network. so far a couple of dozen of the foreign fighters connected with the haqqani network who are trained in pakistan and sent in to afghanistan to attack americans have been killed in these attacks and for the time being there appears to be no letup in sight. contessa? >> jim miklaszewski, thank you, sir. the 2,396-star on the hollywood walk of fame will be given to academy award winning actor james cameron, coincides with the release of "avatar" his first feature film since "titanic." 23 years after starring in the cameron-directed film "aliens." a late morning ceremony will be held in front of the egyptian theater. and speaking of "avatar" it boasts the most advanced special effects to date and the $300 million price tag to prove it.
but will all the heim and computer generate i'd candy translate into ticket sales? in los angeles right now cnbc's julia -- have you seen the movie? >> reporter: i saw it last week. i didn't know what to expect and the special effects really wowed me. >> what about the story? >> reporter: it was 2:40 long. i tend to complain about any movie longer than two hours and i really wasn't bored. a love story, some strong female characters and a guy who spits out water but the world cameron creates, he combines live action and computer generated characters in a way that we've never seen before, in a way that he goes seamlessly back and forth between them in this 3d environment is really different. >> okay. and so he has spent $300 million making this. is there a time frame when you talked to him did he lay out a
time frame for making back that $300 million investment? >> well, he wouldn't say what that number is, that 20th century fox is still looking for in order to break even. he did say if the movie is a hit, everything is in place to quickly and much less expensively create a sequel. so in a way this is an investment of 20th century fox and also james cameron because what he did is he invested a lot of money to create this world, a totally different visual environment. now the movie is a hit and they do want to make a sequel, all of that data stays on the hard drive somewhere so it's easy and efficient to make that sequel which is where the real profits could come from down the line. >> i'm wracking my brain how to fit in a 3d movie at a big advance theater because with all the hype, i want to see it, too. julia, thank you so much. and if you happen to see "avatar" this weekend, i'd love to hear about it and your take on it on monday. don't forget on monday at 2:00 p.m. we're going to talk about health care, your big questions answered. so reach out to me if you have
them. you can get me on facebook, twitter or via e-mail, email@example.com. we'll have the correspondents and the experts here to answer even your most basic questions on health care reform. we want to get through it and do it right. that wraps up this hour for me. i'm contessa brewer. i hope you all have a great weekend. tamron hall picks things up at the top of the hour. e are actuas e are actuas who raise vegetables in campbell's condensed soup. so if you've ever wondered who grew my soup, well, here they are. ♪ so many, many reasons ♪ it's so m'm! m'm! good! ♪ and now cheer presents "brighten bay" episode five: "sandy sees the light." (gasps) are you an angel?
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forward and help police find his missing daughter. and a blogging mom comes under fire for tweeting about her toddler's death just minutes after the child drowned in the family's swimming pool. this woman is under attack right now. we'll tell you more about that story. we begin this hour on capitol hill where time is running out as harry reid looks to secure 60 votes to meet a christmas eve deadline to pass health care reform n. a rare overnight vote on a defense bill the senate agrees to keep democrats on schedule. now to do that senator reid needs a commitment from undecided senators by tomorrow night. one of the final democratic holdouts is senator ben nelson. he's saying he's doubtful a bill can actually pass by christmas. kelly o'donnell joins us now with some of the latest on what's happening behind-the-scenes. what is being done to get him onboard? we know he wants strict eer language about abortion. >> reporter: and in addition to that -- and that's a very tough issue, tamron, because when
you're dealing with anything that has to do with abortion, there's little area to compromise. i've talked to people close to senator nelson who says that's one of the struggles. you can't split the difference when it comes to these matters. it is more than that. what he's also concerned about is an expansion of medicaid providing more subsidies to bring more lower income people into medicaid and that can put a strain on states. senator ben nelson was once the governor of nebraska and is very tuned in to that concern about what it might do to the budget of his state back home, so he's got a lot of issues that really represent the place that he comes from that are a part of his resistance. when you talked about the overnight vote, it was unusual. you could hear the weariness in their voices. they are back again this morning but it was after midnight when they convened, speeches made about the unusual lateness of the hour, accusations about delay tactics really from both sides and senator harry reid the majority leader really made tha